l l

In 1988 Tokyo was destroyed by a

l nuclear-type explosion, and 31 years

' later neo—Tolryo exists in a state at unrest as terrorist groups battle against military might.

Our hero. Kaneda, is a teenage rebel and leader of a motorbike gang. His best friend, Tetsuo, crashes during one } destructive spree and is taken away by 1 the army, led by the Colonel. The Colonel is in charge at a project to develop the psychic abilities of a group ; ol mutant children, the most powerlul i 01 whom is the mysterious Alrira, who has been kept in separate pieces since the 1988 explosion. Tetsuo is discovered to have latent psychic powers which soon become uncontrollable, and when he escapes, he is as much a threat to the city as Akira once was.

Meanwhile Kaneda has become caught up with the terrorists, mainly because he tancies one at them Kay, who is all right in her own way as a strongerthan usual comic heroine, but isn‘t a patch on Jessica Rabbit lor cartoon lust. The revolutionaries are being manipulated by slimy politician Nezu who wants anarchy lor his own egotistical ends.

As things begin to tall apart, the Colonel declares a military coup and moves in on Tetsuo. With the help of

the other psychic children, Kay and Kaneda also track him down. Tetsuo meanwhile has decided to pit his powers against those 01 Akira and has headed tor the Olympic stadium where Akira’s parts are stored.

At this point the tilm goes magnificently out 01 its head, with genetic mutations between llesh and technology, solar-powered cannons and telekinetic power. And, altera truly apocalyptic climax, the universe will never be the same again.

l they're not too detailed. It‘s all part ofthe ‘I.)ifferent people have different favourite | Fokker. published by Dead llead Comicsin ' different nature oftheJapanese.‘ stripsintheone comic.‘continues Edinburgh.

Murakami goeson to explain how'xlkira‘s Murakami. ‘lt is not unusual to find stripsto ' Murakami is also a memberofAnime UK, home success is due more to the popularity teach you gardening or a soap drama that a society dedicated to creating a market in ofits creator. Katsuhiro()tomo. than toanv tellsthe story behind traditional recipes. Britain forfilms similarto. andbetterthan, ground-breaking animation. ()tomo ' beside more violent strips. Some Akira. He hopes to contribute translations serialised .‘lkira in Young .llagazinc uniyersities even use the comicasexam for subtitlesto videos ofunseen classics. between December 1982 and June 1990. material. particularly if the professor is a : ()ne ofthese is more familiar to British TV taking eighteen months off to complete the manga fan.‘ audiences as Battle oft/re Planets. or Kaguka film. Just before this. he had won the Because of the volume ofoutput i Ninja 'I'ai (iatc/zaman in its original form. Science Fiction (irand l’rix Japan‘s demanded ofeach artist often around ; The versions we have seen are dramatically equivalentofthellugow forhisfull-length fifteen pagesa week —the.1apanese work ' cut in orderto hide from us scenes where our comic Donia. from a manga studio system. The main artist | heroes are revealed as deranged

'In Japan. the comics are story-orientated will have two or three assistants who learn to psychopaths who like nothing more than to anddraughtsmanship is usually forgotten] draw in the master‘s style. perhaps doingthe ' kill as manyenemy soldiers as possible, and he says. ‘But ()tomo‘s approach is different, backgrounds. before eventually breaking in particularly nasty ways. more Westernised. xlkiraitselfis not that 9 away and forminga studio oftheirown. Nextthey‘ll be telling me that my fondly special to us. but what is special is its budget i The direct influence oftheJapanese scene I remembered Marine Boy used to get upto [£44 million] and how he did the animation 5 on Western comics is still limited. Frank 3 strange things with dolphins. around the spoken dialogue.‘ j Miller. before going on to greater fame with

The comic book industry in Japan exists on Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. used the Akin, ,‘5 “(the [xi/,n/zome' Edinburgh, Mm, a completely different scale to Britain. Japanese technique ofconveying thought l 22—Sat27/1pril and at (IF'I‘. Mon 29 Young Magazine. for example. regularly has through facial expressions rather than word I April—Fri3 May. The Akira graphic novels around four million sales every week. The balloons for his comic series Ronin. the tale are distributed in Britain by Marvel UK.

typical comic will have up to 500 pages and of a samurai thrust into a violent future Fokker (£1.45) 13 available in (Ilasgowfrom

1 will cost under £1. Popular strips are then 3 world. Kiyo Murakami‘s work is itselfslowly AKA Comics and Future Shock andin COllcctcd into bOOKS. Which are printed on edging its way into the Scottish market, first Edinburghfrom Dead Head ('omics. See better quality paper. but still cost as little as through various fanzines and now through Competition page to win Akira posters and £1.50 the recently launched professional comic , tickets.

The List 19 April 2 May 19919